Born in 1968 between the Black and Caspian Seas, his life was shaped by art from an early age. He attended art college, worked as an agitprop painter after his military service and found his way as a freelance artist after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1996, the twinning of Krasnodar brought him to Karlsruhe, where he began studying at the Art Academy. After a transfer to the Düsseldorf Academy, he was appointed by Markus Lüpertz as his master student. Since 2007 Oleinikov lives and works in Berlin.
Oleinikov's works draw our gaze into a fictional world in which man is closely interwoven with nature, at times even seeming to be one with it. At the same time, he illuminates the role of man in the globalized world and also, again and again, his own self as an artist. Oleinikov achieves the appeal of his art partly through unexpected motifs, and partly through a pictorial technique reminiscent of the dramaturgical film language of Soviet director Andrei Tarkovsky, whom Oleinikov admires. By combining oil paints with pencil and sometimes crayons, he creates contrasts that transport us into an imaginary world.